Talking Advanced Stats with Elliotte Friedman

Thomas Drance
October 06 2011 01:32PM

You all know Elliotte Friedman – he’s the Hockey Night in Canada Broadcaster who happens to write the best English language hockey column in the world. His 30 Thoughts go up every Monday (they’re rarely delayed, but when they are, Twitter has a panic-attack). No one captures chatter from the rink quite like Friedman does every Monday. It’s those insightful tidbits that make his 30 Thoughts columns indispensible to NHL fans. When 30 Thoughts returned from its summer hiatus this year, I noticed that Friedman was talking about zone-starts and hockey analytics in a way he previously hadn’t done. I thought perhaps there had been a change in his thinking over the summer in regards to fancy-stats, so I decided to e-mail him and see if he’d talk “moneypuck” with me. Elliotte agreed, and while I had my Wayne Campbell meeting Alice Cooper moment, we set the date of the interview for this past Tuesday. On Tuesday, Elliotte’s wife gave birth to the couples first son – but Elliotte e-mailed me the next day and was still interested in talking about hockey-stats. On behalf of the Nation Network, I’d like to extend my gratitude to Elliotte for his candor and class, and our congratulations to him and his wife on the birth of their son. What follows is the conversation we had:

Thom Drance: Elliotte, one of the main reasons I wanted to speak with you was the appearance of advanced metrics in your regular 30 thoughts column beginning last month, I'm curious, how would you describe your interest in these number?

Elliotte Friedman: I've always been interested in statistical analysis and what it can mean. I think that, in this day and age if you're not open-minded to something – it's a bad thing. You have to be open minded to all ideas and theories to see if they really make sense, and can help you judge players, teams or whatever. For me it was just a matter of having the time to figure out what they were trying to do, and if they made any sense.

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Jets Claim Brett MacLean

Kent Wilson
October 06 2011 10:38AM

 

 

Winnipeg added another body this morning, claiming 23-year old Brett MacLean off of waivers from the Phoenix Coyotes.

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Penalty-Killing Plugs

JP Nikota
October 06 2011 07:32AM

 

Michael Langlois made an interesting comment on the Leafs season preview podcast that was published on the Globe's website yesterday. He pointed out that, to his memory, most of the best penalty-killing forwards (going back for decades) were the best all-around players, and not those we have come to think of as a "PK specialists".

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SWOTing the Jets Offense: The Kids are Alright

MC Hockey
October 04 2011 12:43PM

 

 

The regular season looms so here begins Part 2 of my SWOT analysis of the Jets players coming into 2011-12, with the focus on the forwards this time. Hopefully my analysis is not overly self-contradictory but there is a fine balance to be observed in dealing with the uncertainties of the mena and events that transpire in professional sports.

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SWOTing the Jets Defense: The Big Buff Theory

MC Hockey
October 03 2011 11:04AM

 

 
In a series of 3 articles, I will undertake a SWOT analysis on the Winnipeg Jets players. SWOT is a process utilized in business which entails an analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of an organization or project. It is typically done to plan for the future activities and hopefully for success. So let's get it started noting that most statistics below come from either the official NHL website for the regular stuff (goals, assists, plus minus) while advanced statistics (you will know when you see them) come from www.behindthenet.ca unless noted:

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